Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Erratum and An Update on Populations Placed Under Nuclear Risk

Karuna Raina called today regarding my blog on numbers at risk due to current and proposed nuclear plants.
Staring at the table, it appears that Koodankulam has been counted twice, once as itself, and once more as Tirunelvelli. This is an error. The total numbers at risk within 80km radius is now 113 million instead of 122 million. However, few points are noteworthy. First, for six of the plants I have used 2001 census data. The average increase in India's population over the 2001-2011 decade is 17.64%; so the populations around each of these plants is likely to increase by about a similar percentage. Also proximity to large towns have been ignored; for example Rawatbhata is 25mi from Kota - a large city. Also in the list of India's nuclear planned and proposed plants,  I find that there are a few plants I have not included in my list. Of these, interestingly, Haripur is becoming the most haunting with an increasing likelihood of resurrection. And, the population density of Bardhaman district (2011 census) is 1100/sq.km - more than double of Tirunelvelli/Koodankulam area. Thus the basic premise of about 10% of India's population being placed at risk due to the presence of current or proposed nuclear plant - still holds - and is likely to go up - if calculated precisely.